“It’s almost like we’re in the amusement park business now,” said Mecklenburg County Park Planner, James Williams.
That description gets a little bit closer to accurate, when you consider the Double Oaks Family Aquatic Center will have a three-story slide and an in-the-pool spray park, along with its 6,000 square foot pool with six swim lanes.
The Double Oaks center replaces a pool that was originally built back in 1956. Groundbreaking on the $3.5 million project was last August, and Williams said the construction process was smooth and on time. Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation plans to open the center full time by Memorial Day, along with most of their other pools and water parks.
Once reopened, Double Oaks will again be one of the sites for free swim lessons provided through Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation.
“We still just don’t have enough water here in Mecklenburg County,” added Williams. “Even though this project is replacing a pool that had been built in the 50’s, it’s still not enough to meet demand – but this is going to really be something special for us the community!”
Park planners also worked with the neighboring senior center to ensure they’d be able to easily access the pool property. And with Double Oaks’ location on a hot transit corner, connectivity for bikes and pedestrians was part of the plan.
The centers’ welcome mat is water themed, of course, with pressed and drilled concrete images, and a 20-foot tall, stainless steel sculpture titled, “Stream,” that resembles a column of cascading water.
“It’s going to be really something,” promised Williams. “Inside and out, this is going to be a first-class facility.”